The Ruined Bridge

23 September 2015
Leave a first comment

Tags: Encounters

The Ruined Bridge

                A Heroes’ Tears Encounter for 3-5 characters of levels 8-10 or around 36 total levels. This is intended as a drop-in adventure that can be used anywhere. The creatures encountered aren’t that tough, but they are intelligent and fight like it, which explains the higher required level.

Back Story

                Wulfgrim, King of the Bandits, is dead. It is common knowledge that he was destroyed during the tribal wars several centuries ago. He was a warrior/bandit of some note and was widely known for his savagery. Those he took prisoner were tied to stakes and burned alive as a warning to others. Over time, he gathered a like-minded group together who would embrace any tactic in opposing the other tribe. However, this group’s identity is lost to history. It is unknown how the group was slain, but the members all vanished, and the small tower they held as their stronghold was deserted. Rumors told of foul magic, but this was all long ago. The rumors have become legend and are passing into mythology. Wulfgrim’s Bridge remains the best way across the gorge, and it has never needed significant repair in all the many years of its existence.

                Merchants moving through the area have reported that the homes of the locals were destroyed. No one lives in the ruins of Wulfgrim’s Village now. Some who have gone to investigate have reported nothing was to be found, and some have vanished. Now, the merchants have stopped coming altogether.

For the Storyteller

A hamlet had grown up around the bridge to serve the travelers who cross over. That hamlet ceased to exist several weeks ago.

                Wulfgrim has been a dread knight for ages. He was locked by a contemplation stone that trapped him in memories of his past. The gems that powered the stone finally burned out, and now he is awake. Many of his loyal men have become skeletal warriors or ghuls. Those they have captured are now zombies or skeletons. Wulfgrim believes the war he waged against the other tribe still rages and that everyone who enters his valley is of the other tribe.

Rumormill

                General

                Level 1

  1. The dead have risen around the old bridge! (True)
  2. A dread necromancer has taken the area for her own! (False)

                Level 2

  1. Ghuls have been spotted near the ruined bridge. (True)
  2. A dark temple was in Wulfgrim’s Village, and spirits have taken over the area. (False)

Level 3

  1. Someone is creating undead nearby. (True)
  2. A dread cult has arisen with an army of the dead. (Mostly false, no cult and a small army)

Level 4

  1. No one is coming to help us. (True)

Magical

Level 1

  1. Thorns and brambles have been growing profusely in the area. (True)
  2. The crops have been cursed! (False)

Level 2

  1. Someone is casting significant necromantic magic nearby. (True)
  2. Ritual magic has tainted the area. (False)

Fortune

Level 1

  1. Several small traders and a couple of caravans have come up missing. (True)
  2. It is a trade war. Some merchant house is trying to control the area. (False)

Level 2

  1. A messenger from a noble house is one of the lost. (True)
  2. Some of the “missing” merchant guards have been seen at a tavern in town. (False)

Level 3

  1. A three-wagon caravan that was strongly guarded has been the last one to vanish. (True)
  2. A great beast devours all on the road! (Lots of medium sized beasts. False)

Beginning the Encounter

                The following encounter takes place in a valley with a large stream or river. It can be dropped in as a wilderness encounter anywhere in the world.

Stumble Upon – The characters are going down the road where the ruined bridge is located and find themselves in a running battle. In this case, begin the adventure with The Road In section.

Missing Merchant – A merchant’s guild who has lost a small caravan hires the adventurers to find out what happened.

Plea for Help – The father of a lost child asks the adventurers to help find his daughter. She was gathering mushrooms in the nearby forest and vanished.

                Missing Merchant

                The merchant guild in this section is The Red Wheels Trading Coster; it is a small group of traders in general consumer goods and foods. If the players have connections to another group of traders, feel free to substitute them and change the names of the merchants involved as you please. The merchant here finds the group at a tavern, but if the storyteller wishes to change the location of the encounter, he or she may do so.

 The human man who had just entered the tavern was well dressed in the sumptuous garb of a merchant prince but wasn’t fat and sleek like one would expect from that type. His jaunty hat with a red dyed feather was held against his side by a shockingly muscled arm more suited to a blacksmith than a purveyor of fine goods. His eyes, narrowed into a serious glare, searched the smoky gloom until his eyes land on  you. The merchant’s rough, weathered face split into a smile. He walked quickly to your table.

                Iason Redwheel (hm NG F{Merchant}7) is a very direct man. He sits in front of the adventurers after ordering them a round of whatever they are drinking. He then dives into his story without regard for any previous conversations which might have been underway at the table. “I’ve lost people. By the wheel, I’d like you to find them.” Though he talks about his wagons when asked, his primary concern is the welfare of the people in the lost caravan. Master Trader Zenobia Dealer was in charge of the three wagons with Traders Bion Geophagos and Isidora Eleni. There was also a drover of goats with a herd of fifteen, one assistant, two guards and three apprentice traders. Each wagon was pulled by two oxen and were carrying large jars of olive oil, wine and two casks of spices. For each person rescued, he will pay 50 gold pieces. 10 gold pieces each for information of their fate. For the rescue of each wagon, he’ll pay 75 gold. He’s a tough bargainer, as you would expect from someone who started as an apprentice wheelwright and worked his way up to master merchant. His Diplomacy and Sense Motive Skills are both 15. The important thing to him is getting the job done, and the characters are the only adventurers in town right now. He also knows General Rumors 1-1 and 2-2 as well as Fortune 1-1 (which he personally knows to be true), 2-2 and 3-1. Other than information about his own missing people, he spins all other rumors out slowly and reluctantly.

                Plea for Help

                Hesiod is just a run-of-the-mill small-time farmer. The details provided aren’t significant to the story. In this version, we used an Alliard Human description, but if you are in another area, the storyteller may choose to change his gender, ethnicity or race as is appropriate.

 A man comes into the tavern squinting against the gloom. His face is burned coffee-colored by the sun and deep lines are graven into his face. He’s wearing the undyed garments common to farmers in this area but might have better shoes than most. He takes off the boonie style hat worn by most in the region and walks over to the closest barmaid. They talk for a moment, and she points towards you. He nods and says something you can’t hear. Nervously scrubbing his face with his left hand, he walks to your table. “Hello, good masters.” he says in a quiet, deep voice. His eyes are red like he’s not been asleep for several days, on drugs, or he’s been crying, and he repeatedly rolls his soft hat in large calloused hands. “My little girl has gone missing in the forest. We’s all tried to look for her, my cousins and friends all. There be beasts out there in the woods that ran us off. Can you help? Her name is Zoe good Masters.”

                Hesiod Geophagos is a somewhat prosperous farmer living on the outskirts of town with his family. Zoe is eleven years old with brown hair and eyes. He has 27 silver and 44 copper pieces to offer the group. If hard-pressed, he will promise 20% of his corn crop, five goats, including a good billy, two milking nannies and one ox. It is all he has. If that isn’t enough, he and two of his cousins will commit to working for the group one day per week for two years as long as his daughter, Zoe, is returned alive. He isn’t a skilled negotiator, so he just asks the party for help and tells about the money. Then, he’ll offer his livestock. If really pressed, he mentions the promise of service, but only if Zoe is brought home alive. If the party agrees to find her, he’ll tearfully thank them and shake their hands with a crushing grip. If they refuse, he’ll say that the group didn’t owe him anything anyway and wish the party good fortune. They will hear him sob as he turns away. He knows General Rumors 1-2 and 2-1. He will also say one of his cousins became an undead, and they were forced to kill it.. He doesn’t know how it happened to his cousin, but they separated looking for Zoe and found a zombie cousin. If the group does help, he will lead them to where Zoe usually goes into the forest near his cottage and fields.

Levelling the Adventure

                If your party is too high a level for this adventure, then increase the number of skeletal warriors (+2 per average party level above 10), ghuls (+2 per) and zombies (+1d12 for average party level above 10) and add a lesser mummy.  For groups whose average party level above is 13+, then use a additional Captain Skeletal Warrior per level inside The Bridge Tower and give all skeletal warriors six more Arrows of Area Harming as described in The Dark Ranger. Increase Wulfgrim’s fighter level +2 for each average level of the group above 13. For groups of average party level above 15+, make the mummy a greater mummy with one lesser per additional level and add a second zombie horde of identical size at the beginning of The Bridge Tower encounter hidden inside B0. For groups of too low a level, subtract 1d4 zombies per level below level 8  and remove one skeletal warrior at level 7 and level 8. If the group is average level 5 or lower, they really shouldn’t play this encounter, but the storyteller may take away the Greater Mummy, drop Wulfgrim’s level to 10 and remove the Arrows of Area Harming.

The Adventure

                There are generally two ways for the characters to get to the ruined bridge. They can either take the forest approach through the local wilderness, or they can go down the trade way. If they really want to throw a curve ball and infiltrate through the stream, then have them encounter The Dark Ranger first, then the ghuls at The Bridge Tower, and then begin the Lost Village. If they take the forest route or The Road In, have them come in on the side away from the village.

                The Road In

 The trade way is a muddy track with deeply carved ruts from generations of wagons. There is grass and gravel along some of it, but most is simply dirt about two arm’s length across. The forest looms over it with great trees and the smell of rotted loam thick about you. Across the track towards the stream is ground that was recently farmed but is overgrown now with weeds and brambles.  A breeze conjures dust devils from the road before you. A smell of cooked meat hangs heavy in the dense air, mixing uncomfortably with the smell of rotted loam.

                This area is just an abandoned path near an empty farm. No encounter. When the group continues along the path and  they go over a hill to the stream’s valley, go to Warning Sign. There are footprints and wagon tracks in abundance. Some of the footprints are as recent as yesterday (Tracking Skill DC 8).

                The Forest

 The woods here are relatively open with deer and human tracks in abundance. Stumps of large trees where there has been logging aren’t uncommon, and this area is used as a huge woodlot by neighboring villages. Brambles have sprung up in profusion and tangle the legs of any walking through. The thorn bushes are wrapping around other plants and choking the life out of them. It is quieter than you would normally expect with few sounds of birds. Crows flock from tree to tree in abundance and caw when they see you, but otherwise, the wildlife is silent. Mushrooms and toadstools peek out from under bushes here and there.

                Use this description if the characters enter the valley through the woods and avoid the main road. 

                If following Zoe’s tracks, the party wanders from bush to bush. The tracks are easy to find and follow. After nearly a mile, the tracks turn and stride long with deeper prints. Tracking DC 12 determines the following: Something with human-sized, clawed feet was chasing Zoe, and she was running. Her tracks disappear and then turn and go towards Wulfgrim’s Village. Tracking Skill DC 16 finds heavy canine tracks among the brush with dead grass directly around the printas if burned away. Gray fur can be found in some of the thorns. Wilderness Lore DC 15 determines wolf of some sort, while DC 20 determines a dread creature. Go to Warning Signs. Every six rounds, Roll 1d4 – if 1, the group finds a small animal (squirrel or possum) with pieces cut out of its body and staked to the ground with a carved wooden stick. Around it are human-sized prints which quickly vanish. This is a trace of Lysimachos, the Dark Ranger.

 

                Warning Sign

 Topping the hill, the valley spreads out before you. The fields are all empty of crops and overgrown by weeds. Nothing moves within your sight save smoke on the plinth to your right. Six bowshots ahead is the first large home of the village. One of the walls looks to be collapsed. The bridge over the deep ravine carved by the stream seems intact, but holes are in its walls, and the tower at the far edge seems sturdy, but burn marks darken its sides as well. Across the wide stream you can see several other small cottages and a few other large buildings. Many of these structures show marks of a fire or other damage. A burned humanoid body is tied across a stone stand in a depression to the right of the road. Bits of smoke still curl up from the embers filling the pit and wrap around the outstretched limbs of the burned figure. A sign carved in wood using ancient characters rests on the edge of the depression. Brown speckles, what might be blood, dot the sign.

                The burnt body is wearing the remains of a quilted gambeson and arming cap usually worn under armor. It appears to have been a human male, and its mouth is open as if screaming. It is too badly damage to find any injuries other than fire, but from the way the ropes are abraded, you can guess he was still alive when the fire was lit. The stone still radiates heat to the touch, and embers glow at the base. The sign is written in an archaic version of High Creden. If anyone has that language skill they can make it out. Otherwise, Decipher Script DC 18 to read: “None shall enter this vale and live to tell of it. If ye are wise, ye will flee. Wulfgrim has risen.”  Go to The Dark Ranger

                The Dark Ranger

                Lysimachos the Gray was a ranger of great repute when he took service with Wulfgrim centuries ago. Like most of Wulfgrim’s greater servants, Lysimachos has become a skeletal warrior, but he still retains his skills in the wilderness. He has been out scouring the forest of Dread Wolves that have been attacking the lesser undead. He is short for a human with a remnant of shoulder-length black hair around his skeletal head. He is wearing well-made, gray, studded leather armor with brown-bronze studs. His longbow is a strength bow. His great sword is well-made but not exceptional. He wears a Ring of Command that grants a +2 to charisma attribute for purposes of the Turn Undead special ability. He uses it to command the Shadow he controls. He always moves silently and hides. One of the advantages of immortality is endless patience, so he doesn’t hurry. He will use the Shadow melee to engage the group with its spells and then in melee. He will then summon 1d4 zombies from the village on the second round that will arrive in 1d4 rounds. He summons a similar group every second round of combat. When the Shadow attacks in melee, Lysimachos will begin to shoot his Arrows of Harming with an area effect harm spell that heals undead or dread spirits. If damaged personally, Lysimachos will stab himself with an arrow to heal and then flee. He has 12 magical arrows and 30 normal ones. He usually finds the party during the Warning Signs section, but if they evade him, he will engage from behind when they get involved in any other fight. It will usually take him four rounds to get within longbow range if he doesn’t find the party at Warning Signs.

                Lysimachos Dark Ranger (Skeletal Warrior) – HP: 90 AC: 19, fl19, t12 INIT: +6  SPD: 30 ATK: Longbow +7/+2 ranged (1d8+2+1d4 {Area Harm}) or Greatsword +8/+3 melee (1d12+3+1d4) GRP: +6 SAVE: F+3, R+4, W+8 ATTR: S14, D15, C-, I15, W15, Ch12 SK: Move Silent+10, Hide+7, Listen+7, Spot+7, Know(Ancient History)+4 Special Attacks: Necromancer’s ice (+1d4 to damage), Special Defenses: Undead XP: 950. Feats: Power Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Cleave. Special Equipment: Arrows of Harm 10’ radius 3d8 pts of damage (heals undead), masterwork studded leather.

                Shadow sz med haunt, HP: 38 hp  AC: 15, fl 12, t 15 INIT: +3 SPD: 30 ATK: Touch +6 melee (1d4 + Soul Sear touch attack) GRP: +6 SPC AT: Soul Sear, Spells 6 0th 5 1st 2 2nd SPC Q: Immaterial, Haunt Traits  SAVE: Fort -, Reflex +4, Will +4 ATTR: Str: 14 Dex: 16 Con:-  Int: 8 Wis: 12 Cha:14 SK: Spot+6, Listen+6, Search+5 CR: 4 XP: 2500 Spells: L0 Touch of Elements x6, L1 Acidic Spittle x3, Rotting Fog x2, L2 Absorb Life, Fearful Gaze

            After encountering Lysimachos, go to The Bridge Tower. Remember, Lysimachos will run before he engages in melee and will retreat towards the bridge. If he gets away, he will go to the top of the tower and use his bow against the party. Don’t forget to subtract any summoned zombies from the total available at The Bridge Tower.

 

                The Bridge Tower

 The hexagonal tower that sits astride the far side of the single-arched bridge is nearly fifty feet from its crenellated top to its gray stone foundation. The sides are weathered and pitted with age with a broken area at the top that looks like a rotten tooth. Thorny vines grow up its side with a number of brilliant white roses scattered about. Arrow slits pierce the tower’s sides starting around thirty feet up. The bridge is wide enough for a single wagon and goes through the lowest level of the tower. A low rail that was probably once carved in fanciful statues, long since weathered into misshapen lumps, is on both sides. A toll-taker or guard post is on the near side of the bridge. Long ago, there may have been two posts, but the other is shattered, and any gate that went between the two is long gone. A large cottage sits near the winding trade way near what once were neat fields but now are covered in brambles. Several cottages or trade houses sit on the far side, most damaged in some way or burnt. The ravine is deep for leagues in either direction; loose shale forms its side and the rushing stream flows at its bottom. More of the thorny roses dot the ravine’s sides.

               The ravine here is nearly thirty feet high and made of loose rock requiring a DC 15 climb check. Climbing the tower is relatively easy (DC 5), but the thorns and roses are from Vampire Rose Bushes which Lysimachos has planted throughout the area, and any climber is considered prone when attacked by them. If Lysimachos has successfully retreated, he will run to the tower, drop both sides of the portcullis, bar the door, and go to the top level to shoot at the party with his bow. Two other skeletal warriors are in the tower. They will shoot from the arrow slits on level 3 unless someone gets into the portcullis. If that happens, they will use longspears through the murder holes in the floor of level one to attack while the characters try to get through the doors. Any approaching the damaged cottage at B0 will awaken the zombies and will be attacked. Two rounds after the zombies attack, the ghuls from under the bridge will attack. There are 20 more Arrows of Area Harming in the tower, and the skeletal warriors there will use them while the group is engaged with zombies and ghuls or to heal themselves if damaged. Spell casters will be targeted first. If any skeletal warrior is killed in the tower, the other skeleton will sound the alarm gong to bring Wulfgrim out of his crypt.

                B0 – Ruined Cottage: This small home is roughly eight paces square. The western wall has been shattered by some great force, possibly when part of the roof burned away. The insides are wrecked with all the former owner’s possessions scattered around. Several humanoids look in your direction. When they see you, they begin to moan and shuffle slowly towards you with arms outstretched. You can hear the click of their jaws clamping shut as if already biting you.

                Zombies (12) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11           Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160 Will attempt to overbear when more than 3 are present.

                B1 – Broken Guardpost: This is a small booth where a guard probably once stood. Its companion is rubble. There was once a gate between them, but it is gone. The track turns into the stone of the bridge here. Under the bridge is a cave where ghuls have taken up residence. If they hear zombies moaning, they will move up the slop and attack in two rounds.

                Ghuls (6) sz medium undead, HP: 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30 AC: 15, fl13, t12 INIT: +2, SPD: 25’ ATK: 2 Slams +4 melee (1d4+3, chill touch) and Bite +6 melee (1d6+3, chill touch and Decay) or Blood Drain Bite. GRP: +10 SPC AT: Chill Touch (Any touch inflicts 2d4 damage 1 pt of str and con loss. Fort DC 16 to halve damage and negate attribute loss), Decay (Post combat illness), Blood Drain Bite (Full Round Action, 1 point con damage plus normal bite effects heals Ghul of 1d8 + damage inflicted). SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+3, Ref+3, Will+3 ATTR: S17 D14 C- I8 W12 Ch13 SK: Listen+4, Spot+2, Jump+5 XP: 240

                Level 0 – There is a portcullis on either side to get in: Strength check DC 40 to raise, Hardness 10 and 120 hit points to destroy. Under Passage: Stone floors and walls with one iron-banded wooden door in either wall. Door hardness of 8 and 60 hit points to destroy. There are four murder holes across the top of the 12 foot ceiling. Both doors are identical. Two zombies shuffle around area 2 at base of stairs. They attack if the door is opened or forced.  The stairs are extremely narrow and steep and only allow for one medium or two small creatures to use them at a time.

                Vampire Rose (2) sz medium plant, HP: 32, 11 AC: 15, ff16, t9 INIT: -1 SPD: 0’ ATK: 4 x 1d8 Slams +5 melee (1d2+blood drain) {It hits engage grapple} GRP: +7 SPC AT: Blood Drain (When grappling drains 2 points per round per vine) and Sleep Pollen (Within 30’ Fort Save DC14 or go to sleep within 5 rounds for 30 minutes or more) SPC Q: Plant SAVE: Fort +6, Ref+3, Will+2 ATTR: S14, D8, C13, I0, W13, Ch12 Sk: Listen+6, Hide+12 XP: 160

                Zombies (2) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

                Level 1 – The stairs open to a flat hallway (4) with a circular stairway to the right, door to the front and open area behind. The open area (5) has racks for spears and bows. Currently, the racks have five spears and two great bows in them. The dining area (7) and kitchen (6) are dusty and unused. There are two zombies directly in front of the stairs. Unless the characters entered with great stealth, there will be one skeletal warrior at the base of the circular stairway and one in area (5) who is able to attack from both above and behind anyone on the stairs with a longspear reach weapon. If either skeletal warrior dies, the other will ring the large bronze gong in area (5) to summon Wulfgrim.

                Skeletal Warriors (2)– HP: 90, 90 AC: 25, fl20, t12 INIT: +6  SPD: 20 ATK: Longbow +7/+2 ranged (1d8+2+1d4 {Area Harm}), Longspear +8/+3 melee (1d10+3+1d4), or Broadsword +7/+2 melee (2d4+2+1d4) GRP: +6 SAVE: F+3, R+4, W+8 ATTR: S14, D15, C-, I15, W15, Ch12 SK: Move Silent+10, Hide+7, Listen+7, Spot+7, Know(Ancient History)+4 Special Attacks: Necromancer’s ice (+1d4 to damage), Special Defenses: Undead XP: 950. Feats: Power Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Cleave. Special Equipment: Arrows of Harm (6) 10’ radius 3d8 pts of damage (heals undead), breastplate armor and large steel shield. Only use shield with broadsword.

                Zombies (2) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

                Level 2 – The stairs open into a large area with stools scattered around. Three arrow slits provide some light. Areas 9 are long unused sleeping quarters with rotten furniture.

                Level 3 – Areas 10 are larger sleeping areas with rotten and collapsed bunk beds and empty chests at the foot of each bed. Arrow slits pierce each wall.

                Level 4 – The stairs open into a large open area with several rotten chairs and tables. The wall to your left has crumbled, and parts of the floor above are falling in. Rooms 11 are spacious sleeping areas long abandoned. If Lysimachos escaped, he will be found above this area on the roof and will shoot down any remaining Arrows of Harm at the group. If too hard-pressed, he will jump into the stream and escape.

                The Lost Village

 This hamlet was until recently a prosperous place of small farms and tradesmen that served the travelers using the bridge. Small houses surround the main cart track. Most of them are ruinous now. Several show signs of recent burns and others have had walls bashed in. More of the thorny roses bloom among the rubble.

                When Wulfgrim and his fellows tunneled up out of their crypt it was midday and the villagers put up a fight. One of them set a house on fire to try and burn the undead and succeeded in setting fire to the whole hamlet. Now, virtually the whole place is ruinous and infested with zombies. If the portcullis on the village side is not down, zombies will attack anyone under the tower. When any zombies begin an encounter, they will moan loudly which beckons to all others within the village.

                V1 Burned Cottage – Small half-timbered residence with a half-collapsed thatched roof that is badly burned. Six zombies are within it.

Zombies (6) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

V2 Destroyed Cottage – This cottage burned to the ground.

V3 Broken Smithy – This was the smith, and as such, the structure was more resistant to burning. Major impacts on the inside broke out one of the walls and collapsed the whole upper floor. The forge on the west side is still mostly intact, and there are full tools and bar stock available. Eight zombies are around the forge.

Zombies (8) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

V4 Destroyed Cottage – This cottage also burned to the ground.

V5 Carter’s Shop – The lower level of this residence is a carter’s shop for wagon and wheel repair. The main door is hanging open, and there is a dangling sign of a wagon wheel over it. There is a four-wheeled wagon recently repaired inside. All tools and parts are available. The family’s room in the upper floors is undamaged, and in a small chest under the master’s bed is 18 gp, 41 silver and 87 copper. There are 10 zombies in the shop.

Zombies (10) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

                V6 Cottage – This cottage is in the best condition of any of them and is covered in the thorny roses. A small weaving of sticks with thick thorns and more of the white roses blooming from it covers the door. Inside the floor of this cottage is missing. There is a tunnel inside that leads to Wulfgrim’s crypt. Six zombies are stationed around it. The hole has been carved into rough stairs that lead down into the darkness. A lamp with oil is on a table to the side of the stair. The contents of the cottage have been thrown outside in a pile of trash.

Zombies (6) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

Vampire Rose (3) sz medium plant, HP: 31, 22, 17 AC: 15, ff16, t9 INIT: -1 SPD: 0’ ATK: 4 x 1d8 Slams +5 melee (1d2+blood drain) {It hits engage grapple} GRP: +7 SPC AT: Blood Drain (When grappling drains 2 points per round per vine) and Sleep Pollen (Within 30’ Fort Save DC14 or go to sleep within 5 rounds for 30 minutes or more) SPC Q: Plant SAVE: Fort +6, Ref+3, Will+2 ATTR: S14, D8, C13, I0, W13, Ch12 Sk: Listen+6, Hide+12 XP: 160

                The Crypt

                In ancient days when Wulfgrim first became a dread knight, he constructed this crypt as a final place of retreat for himself and his minions. A group of adventurers tricked them all into staring at a contemplation stone which trapped them in their memories for centuries. Over time, the gemstones powering the contemplation stone failed, and the group was freed. They tunneled up to the surface to again wage their war, not realizing their enemy tribe was long gone. The floor of the crypt is all polished flagstones in a dark gray color. The walls are a light drinking black, but every ten feet there is a mural showing a human being burned alive while tied to a stake. These vary between men, women and children, nude, clothed and fully armored. There is no light in the crypt. The doors are all made of a dull red wood carved to resemble flames. Ceilings are a uniform 12 feet high. Torch sconces dot the walls every ten feet (between the murals), but all are empty. There is a strong smell of rot and corruption, and the air is stale.

                V1 The Entrance – The rough carved stairs leading down into the pit give way to carved flagstone flooring. Dirt walls become solid stone. The commander of Wulfgrim’s personal guard is stationed here. He is a size large skeletal warrior and attacks anything entering. If he isn’t present, you see a massive empty wooden chair in the corner of the room facing the entrance. If he is present, he is seated in his daunting wooden chair, but immediately attacks upon your entrance. If he engages in battle, the skeletal warrior and zombies from V3 will start to enter the room in two rounds as will the three zombies, a mummy and Wulfgrim from V2.

                Captain Skeletal Warrior – HP: 218 AC: 30, fl25, t11 INIT: +3  SPD: 30 ATK: Greatsword (used one handed) +15/+10 melee (1d12+4+1d4) GRP: +14 SAVE: F+8, R+5, W+9 ATTR: S18, D14, C-, I15, W15, Ch12 SK: Move Silent+10, Hide+7, Listen+7, Spot+7, Know(Ancient History)+8 Special Attacks: Necromancer’s ice (+1d4 to damage), Special Defenses: Undead XP: 1650. Feats: Power Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Cleave, Weapon Focus/Specialization (Greatsword). Special Equipment: 3x Potions of Area Effect Harm (3d6 10’ radius) 

                V2 The Temple – The center of this room has an 8’ x 5’ stone table with shackles on each end. Blood gutters at the edges of the table  are filled with relatively fresh blood. The body of a skinless, presumably a human male, is shackled onto the table. To the right of the room against the wall is a 10’ carving of Maasara’s black disk symbol. The desiccated human standing in front of the Maasaran symbol carries a staff and is wrapped in bandages. He turns his blazing red eyes towards you. Three walking corpses on the opposite side of the room shamble in your direction. A figure wearing a tarnished, though quite ornate, ancient plate mail armor and hoisting a shield is on the far side of the room. The figure draws a sword when it sees you, seeming to grin.

                The figure in ornate armor is Wulfgrim the Dread Knight. When he sees the group, he beings casting, first summoning two Shadows per round for two rounds with Summon Frightful Spirit (They are placed behind the group), and then one Shadow per round for three rounds (in the middle of the group). If all his followers are killed before he finishes summoning, he will cast Bladestorm and move forward into melee. If Lysimachos jumped into the river to escape the group, he will attack from the rear at this point. The guardians in V4 will enter the room in round three. Diotenes, the mummy priest of the group, will move to hide behind Wulfgrim and cast spells. Once Wulfgrim engages in melee, he begins to sing. Use FSU’s War Chant; all skeletal warriors will join in singing as will Diotenes the mummy once he has finished casting spells. The zombies moan loudly.

                Wulfgrim (Dread Knight) – HP: 180, AC: 32, fl27, t11 INIT: +5, SPD: 20 ATK: War Axe +26/21/16 melee (1d10+13 + illness), GRP: +20, SAVE: F+21, R+14, W+17 ATTR: S20, D12, C-, I12, W14, Ch18 Spec A: Spells 6 0th, 5 1st, 4 2nd 3 3rd , 2 4th , 1 5th Illness (Melee strikes DC 19 or -2 dex), 8 points from each melee strike taken as healing energy  Spec Q: Undead XP: 14,000 Feats: Attack of Opportunity, Exotic Weapon, Weapon Focus/Specialization/Mastery, Improved Initiative. Special Equipment: 2x Potions of Area Effect Harm SPELLS: 0th Bat Sight, Spirit Talker, Slice, Defile Weapon  1st Terror Voice, Spirit Sight, Harm Living, Rotting Fog, Agony Pin, Soul Razor  2nd Pierce Magic, Despair Darts, Poison Wind, acid Bolts, Flay 3rd Conjure Swarms, Poltergeist, Wounding, Pain Bolt, Summon Lesser Frightful Spirit  4th Summon Frightful Spirit, Rune Cleaver, Blood Spirit  5th Level Dragon’s Teeth, Wail of Damnation, Bladestorm 

                Shadows (summoned) sz med haunt, HP: 38 hp  AC: 15, fl 12, t 15 INIT: +3 SPD: 30 ATK: Touch +6 melee (1d4 + Soul Sear touch attack) GRP: +6 SPC AT: Soul Sear, Spells 6 0th 5 1st 2 2nd SPC Q: Immaterial, Haunt Traits  SAVE: Fort -, Reflex +4, Will +4 ATTR: Str: 14 Dex: 16 Con:-  Int: 8 Wis: 12 Cha:14 SK: Spot+6, Listen+6, Search+5 Spells: L0 Touch of Elements x6, L1 Acidic Spittle x3, Rotting Fog x2, L2 Absorb Life, Fearful Gaze

                Diotenes (Lesser Mummy) – HP: 77, AC: 17, fl18, t9, INIT: -1 SPD: 30’ ATK: 2 slams +10 melee (1d4+3/rot) or Staff +12 melee (1d8+5/rot) GRP: +10  SPC AT: Rot (Fort DC 12 1d4 con), Spells 4 0th, 3 1st Vampiric Regeneration (Half melee damage taken as healing) SPC Q: Undead, Damage Reduction (+1/5) SAVE: Fort -, Ref+1, Will+7, ATTR: S16, D9, C-, I10, W16, Ch14 XP: 2500 SPELLS: 0th Slice, Defile Weapon, 1st Soul Razor, Agony Pin

                Zombies (3) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

                V3 Guard Chamber – This area has a half-dozen carved alcoves, three in each wall. Murals of flayed men are beside each door. Each alcove has a corpselike human body in it, and one skeleton is dressed in fine armor. They move towards you out of the alcoves. The zombies begin moaning.

                Skeletal Warrior – HP: 90, 90 AC: 25, fl20, t12 INIT: +6  SPD: 20 ATK: Longbow +7/+2 ranged (1d8+2+1d4 {Area Harm}), Longspear +8/+3 melee (1d10+3+1d4), or Broadsword +7/+2 melee (2d4+2+1d4) GRP: +6 SAVE: F+3, R+4, W+8 ATTR: S14, D15, C-, I15, W15, Ch12 SK: Move Silent+10, Hide+7, Listen+7, Spot+7, Know(Ancient History)+4 Special Attacks: Necromancer’s ice (+1d4 to damage), Special Defenses: Undead XP: 950. Feats: Power Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Cleave. Special Equipment: Arrows of Harm (6) 10’ radius 3d8 pts of damage (heals undead), breastplate armor and large steel shield. Only use shield with broadsword. Uses longspear while the zombies are engaged and will shoot arrows into the melee healing all undead within 10’.

                Zombies (5) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

                V4 Guard Chamber – The opposite wall has five alcoves in it, each occupied by another of the corpselike humans. They moan and reach out their arms towards you. A skeleton in fine armor steps out of an alcove on the far side of the room to your right. There are large 10’ x 10’ murals of flayed and burning humans at either end of the room.

                Skeletal Warrior – HP: 90, 90 AC: 25, fl20, t12 INIT: +6  SPD: 20 ATK: Longbow +7/+2 ranged (1d8+2+1d4 {Area Harm}), Longspear +8/+3 melee (1d10+3+1d4), or Broadsword +7/+2 melee (2d4+2+1d4) GRP: +6 SAVE: F+3, R+4, W+8 ATTR: S14, D15, C-, I15, W15, Ch12 SK: Move Silent+10, Hide+7, Listen+7, Spot+7, Know(Ancient History)+4 Special Attacks: Necromancer’s ice (+1d4 to damage), Special Defenses: Undead XP: 950. Feats: Power Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Cleave. Special Equipment: Arrows of Harm (6) 10’ radius 3d8 pts of damage (heals undead), breastplate armor and large steel shield. Only use shield with broadsword. Uses longspear while the zombies are engaged and will shoot arrows into the melee healing all undead within 10’.

                Zombies (5) sz medium undead, HP: 38, 38, 38, 38, 38  AC: 9, fl11, t8 INIT: -2 SPD: 20’ ATK: 2 Slams +1 melee (1d4+1), if both hit or if grappling then Bite -1 melee (1d6+1 *Causes Disease) GRP: +1 SPC AT: Dread Malediction (When bitten Fort DC 10 or 1d4 Con) SPC Q: Undead SAVE: Fort+2, Reflex-1, Will+1 ATTR: Str: 11 Dex: 7 Con: 0 Int: 0 Wis: 11 Cha: 11 SK: Listen+3 XP: 160

                V5 Passageway – The passage has large murals on each way depicting burning humans. Many small tables made of bones in the corners hold human skulls.

                V6 Captain’s Chamber – This chamber has anoversized wooden rocking chair to the right with an oil lamp on a small wooden table beside it. On the left most wall is a mural of a horse running across a plain. An easel sits directly in frontof the door with a thin wooden sheet on it that is partially carved in an image of the horse in the mural. Small woodcarving knives are on a low table beside the easel.

                V7 Wulfgrim’s Chamber – There is a large, well-maintained poster bed with no mattress on the opposite side of the room. An oil lamp hangs from the highly polished ceiling by a chain. Two wardrobes are on the left of the chamber, and a chest is in the center of the room on the right. The chest is locked; Disable Device DC 16 to open. The chest is also coated with a powerful contact poison. Search DC 18 to notice. If the chest is touched, Fort DC 17 or Lose 1d8 dex. Within the chest are 275 gold pieces of an ancient type, two burned-out diamonds 6/6 that once powered the contemplation stone, and a bejeweled helmet with gold filigree worth 400 gp.

                V8 Diotenes’ Chamber – This long chamber is covered in murals of flayed or burned men. An upright coffin sits on the far left. To the far right are a barrel-shaped table and a wooden chair. On the table is an open leather-bound book. The table has a door that is locked (Disable Device DC 14). Inside is an obsidian holy symbol of Maasara worth 27 gp, a jeweled bracelet made of platinum with a burned out sapphire worth 58 gp, 96 pieces of gold in an ancient style and 16 copper of the same era.

                V9 Trap Chamber – There is a darkness spell of level 5 cast by Wulfgrim in this room preventing any light from functioning. The floor is covered in a viscous fluid which is in actuality a  potion of harm (Alchemy check DC 22 to determine liquid type). Each round a living creature spends in the fluid, they take 3d8 points of damage (Fort Save DC 20 to half). The far door is locked; DC 18 Disable Device to open.

                V10 Prison – This is where the prisoners are held before they are transformed into zombies on the ritual table in V2. A little human girl, an older human woman, a middle-aged human man and a late teen human male are here and seemingly unharmed though weak and dehydrated. There are six empty sets of shackles. The girl is Zoe from Plea for Help. The woman is Zenobia Dealer from Missing Merchant, and the teen boy is one of  caravan’s guards. The middle-aged man is an uncle of Zoe’s who was out looking for her and was captured. They are all traumatized by the experience, and Zoe just stares into the distance without talking. All the adults burst into tears when they realize they are being rescued. The shackles are Disable Device DC 10 to open. All prisoners are weakened from their captivity and completely incapable of combat.

                V11 Prayer Room – There are several small pads for kneeling with a number of black Maasaran Disks in front of them. The walls are covered with murals of undead massacring humans, dwarves and elves. A corrupt, bloody smelling incense burns in a brazier to the right of the door.

 

Ending the Encounter

                If the party leaves before Wulfgrim is slain, he will seek them out as he believes they are members of his rival tribe. Each month he can attract another skeletal warrior to his band to a maximum of 15. Every six months, he will attract a priest of Maasara of 1d8 levels. If the party is victorious and brings Zenobia Dealer back to The Red Wheels Coster, make her a level 2 Fortune contact and Iason Redwheel a level 3 fortune contact for free. If the party returns Zoe, make Hesiod Geophagos a level 2 general contact

Leave a comment